Highgate artist Tim Benson, Vice President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and currently the society’s youngest member, returns to exhibit at Highgate Contemporary Art for the third time in eight years.

Tim was initiated into painting at Highgate School by Sir Kyffin Williams and continued his training at the Glasgow School of Art and the Byam Shaw School of Art 1998 to 2001.

Having gained a reputation as a collectable landscape painter, predominantly of the flatlands of East Anglia and Hampstead Heath, Tim now favours painting small panels en plein-air. Signatures of his work are the ability to capture fleeting light, contrast and depth through the complexities of colour.

“The space between representation and abstraction is increasingly important to me and the lack of recognisable, site-specific landmarks in my landscapes stems from the desire to convey the feeling of the location without over-reliance on familiar buildings or vista”.

Over the past two years Tim has explored his passion for portraiture and figurative work. His portrayals of public figures such as Michael Palin and Brian Cox have been widely exhibited and in 2012 he was chosen to contribute to the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery. Tim’s identifiably expressive style and audacious brushstrokes capture the sitter’s character and mood in a marvellously evocative way. His recent portraits counter perceived ideas of so-called suitable subjects and his unflinching painting of a woman with facial disfigurement was granted the Arts Club Charitable Trust Award at the annual exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters at the Mall Galleries, 2013.

“The paintings in this exhibition have a more abstract quality than any previous works. My attempt to convey the soul of a person without the familiar trappings of their day-to-day life or to simplify an object to the point where any less information would render it unreadable outweighs the need to show a straight likeness or for simple representation”.